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The Editorials: Maids In Heaven In Wedding Magazine

May 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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The Editorials is a series bringing the offline bridal freelance writing that I do on a monthly basis for numerous glossy magazines (both National and regional) online. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog in Wedding Magazine

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Although the blog has been whirring away as usual these last eight weeks, with a small baby it’s harder to get to the shops – so my lovely friends at Wedding Magazine have just sent me a job lot of glossies to catch up on.  Today, we visit their April/ May issue, and my column about keeping your team on side.  After all, you want some friends at the end of it all, don’tcha?

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I wrote: These days, bridesmaid duty doesn’t have to equal sartorial disaster. There are plenty of options out there for dressing your best girls and still staying friends at the end of it all. Not a hoop skirt or Little Bo Peep impersonator in sight, unless you are being intentionally ironic!

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Whilst a strong vintage, alternative or high glamour focus might demand a certain look, there’s nothing worse than overstepping the mark between theming and fancy dress. Once you’ve chosen your own dress, the best bet is a set of bridesmaid frocks that will flatter and contrast with your own styling and suit your chosen venue. And when it comes to adhering to a chosen dress code, the bridal party always should lead by example.

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Consider your wedding day colour choices and inspirations carefully, but don’t feel that every collar and cuff has to match. Think about what will look best in your wedding photographs: bridesmaids’ should help to create a beautiful background to show off their leading lady. Try offsetting an all-white palette with deeper tones in the Winter, choose all over florals for a fresh and contrasting Spring time look or complimentary rosy hues for warmer weather.

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Katy Lunsford Photography

Image by Katy Lunsford Photography

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You First

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Pick your own gown first. You might be dead set on a certain style, but tastes are often known to change once shopping starts. That way, you can be sure that your style selections will enhance the overall look. A sash of lace around a bridesmaid’s waist can set off a matching wedding dress beautifully.

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Cat Hepple Photography

Image by Cat Hepple Photography

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Maids To Measure

Image by Maids To Measure

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Would It Work For You?

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Be fair. If you wouldn’t be seen dead in it, why should your best mate? Do show some consideration of their shape, size and usual style. Do they all have to wear exactly the same? Equally, remember that your guests do know you, and how tall you are. Forcing your girls into unflattering flats or sky high heels when they would rather be wearing the opposite is just cruel, and discourages dancing. That’s never a good thing.

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Sarah Gawler

Image by Sarah Gawler

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Shop Around

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Don’t feel pressured to buy for your bridesmaids in the same boutique as your wedding gown. Whilst this can be advantageous in terms of ease and pricing, there is no need to narrow your options if you want to look elsewhere. Gems can be found in independent fashion boutiques, online, via the big name bridal houses and never, ever rule out the Great British High Street.

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Steve Gerrard Photography

Image by Steve Gerrard Photography

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Belle & Beau Photography

Image by Belle & Beau Photography

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Dare To Be Different

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Just because everyone is working rainbow brights, contrasting cuts or pastel pales doesn’t mean that you have to. My favourite bridesmaid styles this year have all been in elegant tones and classic shapes with a quirky twist. Don’t shy away from unexpected colours or a bit of embellishment. After all, everyone loves to sparkle.

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Jonny Draper Photography

Image by Jonny Draper Photography

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in Bridesmaids, Press, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Super Fly! A Real Wedding In North Wales – Eleanor & Paul

February 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Photography by Helen Venables

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I should probably count my blessings that it isn’t sleeting, but I couldn’t let another dull, grey Tuesday finish without bringing you another beautiful Real Wedding

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As it turns out, I had something rather special up my sleeve all along.  Eleanor and Paul’s big day (planned to perfection by Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Andrea of Fabulous Day) is cool, colourful, under canvas and full of surprise details.  Look out overhead!  And I say, let the sun shine!

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With images by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Eleanor says:  Paul asked me to marry him in January 2012 in Central Park in New York and we were married on 15th September 2012 at  Llanasa Church in North Wales and then had the reception in the grounds of my family home “Bryngwyn” in Axton, North Wales. 

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Three generations of my family have grown up at Bryngwyn and it’s a place that holds so many special memories. We didn’t look at any other wedding venues – there wasn’t really any question as to where we would have the reception – we were just really lucky that my parents were so accommodating!

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However the idea of traditional ‘white marquee’ wedding really did not appeal – for us it was too formal and restrictive. As soon as we found Event In A Tent and their teepees we knew we’d found the perfect solution as they were original, unique, fitted in with the look of the farm and suited our personalities.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We really wanted to make a good first impression! We worked with Design Your Day who helped us deliver really unique wedding stationery. Paul is a pilot, with a lifelong obsession with planes so on Design Your Day’s suggestion we adopted the concept of ‘travel’ as our theme. The wedding invites were printed on luggage labels, with personalised photomontage postcards as RSVPs. We also used a small plane motif within the design which was then incorporated into the rest of the wedding stationary. We bound the invites and RSVP cards with specially designed ‘All you need is love’ cotton ribbon. This tag line also had wider connotations for us given that we met in Liverpool and love the Beatles and we incorporated it in other parts of the day. We also included the luggage tags within our table plan.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We had no specific colour scheme- the one thing we didn’t want was uniformity. We wanted it to look seasonal – with all the colours reflecting the country location.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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My dress was lace and off the shoulder and I got it from Cheshire Brides in Frodsham. I really struggled to find a dress, however all the clichés were true, and when I saw my dress I fell in love with it!

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The bridesmaids wore dresses from Maids to Measure. My bridesmaids were a range of shapes and sizes and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable in their dresses – I chose the colour and then, together with Maids to Measure, everyone designed their own dresses. Each dress was then handmade and tailored to them. They looked great! The groomsmen hired their suits from Swarbricks in Manchester. The range of stock they held made sure that everyone’s suits all fitted perfectly!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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I carried sunflowers, together with mixed herbs and lavender by David Wayman Flowers – with the bridesmaids carrying smaller versions. Paul went for a mixed herb button hole. We also decorate the church with lots of sunflowers and at the reception we had lots of wild flowers throughout the tables.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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For both of us, saying our vows were a really special moment. Also the fact that we had both organised surprises for the other throughout the day was really special.  Originally we had planned to use friends’ cars as wedding transport. However, unbeknown to me, Paul arranged for a horse and carriage to transport me to and from the church. This was a childhood dream and a complete surprise (and created lots of tears)!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Unbeknown to Paul and all the guests, I arranged for an aerobatic display at the reception by Mark Jefferies Air Displays – which was incredible. Everyone was in complete awe of the stunts by the reigning European aerobatic champion. We later heard that it brought traffic to a standstill over 10 miles away!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Helen Venables was our amazing photographer and we also had a wedding film created for us by Lemongrove Productions. The careful edit was perfect and captured so many happy moments. We didn’t originally think we’d get a video but on reflection, its one of our most treasured things from the day.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We were so lucky to have a very accommodating vicar who was more then happy for us to arrange for an owl to fly the rings down the isle when we exchanged our rings! ‘Snowy’ landed on the arm of my little brother, with the rings and it all went without a hitch. None of our guests knew about this and the look of surprise on their faces was brilliant!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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For us, detail (and a few surprises!) were central to our day. For the decor this ranged from personalised rosette name places (I am a keen horse rider), personalised ‘Mr and Mrs’ Bunting, handmade personalised flower crates (made by Paul’s dad), personalised aprons for our nominated carvers during the meal, handmade lanterns, personalised dog outfits (!) and signs. We also had lots of hay bales scattered around as additional outdoor seating and provided blankets which came in handy when it got chilly later in the evening.

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Vanilla in All Seasons were our caterers.  The food was incredible and everyone is still talking about it now!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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We chose a brilliant band called Under the Covers. They played for us in the afternoon too whilst everyone was gathering for canapés.  We also had a photo booth from Picture Blast which was fun!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Straight after the wedding we went for a mini-moon to Cephalonia.  We are planning a trip to Antarctica later this year!

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Our top tip for other Brides Up North would be to consider hiring a wedding planner! We totally underestimated the amount of planning that goes into having a wedding at home – and it never once crossed our minds that we have to arrange and plan for things like generators, toilets and outside catering requirements! Luckily we managed to secure the services of Andrea Swift at Fabulous Day. Andrea was amazing. She took all the stress away from the planning process we meant that we could concentrate on the little details as ultimately we cared a lot more about the small touches and making things personal to us. 

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Photography by Helen Venables

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Congratulations Eleanor & Paul!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on these pretty pages?  Here’s how!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Helen Venables

Fabulous Day is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in Featured Supplier, Marquees, North West Wedding, Real Weddings, Wedding Planning | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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